Another Sex Scandal Hits Catholic Church

February 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it will remove from ministry a priest accused of having a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

The Rev. Martin P. O'Loghlen, once a leader in a religious order, allegedly had a relationship with a teenage girl in the 1960s, The Los Angeles Times reported.

O'Loghlen was appointed to a sexual abuse advisory board even though officials at both the order and the archdiocese allegedly knew at the time of his sexual abuse and addiction, the Times said.

Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said in a statement it had been assured O'Loghlen was fit for the ministry. He said the archdiocese's vicar for clergy, Msgr. Michael Meyers, resigned Friday. Meyers was in charge of background checks for priests.

The New York Times said O'Loghlen had a relationship with a then 16-year-old girl in the 1960s while she was a student at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente.

"The failure to fully check records before granting priestly faculties is a violation of archdiocesan policy," said Cardinal Mahony, who leads the Los Angeles Archdiocese. "We owe it to victims and to all our faithful to make absolutely certain that all of our child protection policies and procedures are scrupulously followed."

O'Loghlen became the provincial leader in the western region for the religious order of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1995.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Archdiocese agreed to pay a $660 million settlement to 508 people who said priests sexually abused them when they were children.

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